Ritual Crucifiction and Self-Mortification in the Catholic Philippines
Routledge – 2016 – 288 pages
This book, based on extensive original research, provides a rich analysis of the extensive, intense and highly-popular self-mortification practices in the Catholic Philippines. It describes the practices, and discusses the nature of the popular piety involved, arguing that participants’ primary experience is spiritual edification and religious ecstasy rather than pain and suffering per se, and that the practices are an expression of local concepts of morality and propitiation, rather than the product of Spanish missionary effort. The book charts the historical development of the practices, discusses the long-standing disapproval of church authorities and the reasons for this, and compares self-mortification practices in the Philippines with similar practices in a range of different religions elsewhere in Southeast Asia. It also examines how self-mortification practices are viewed in the Philippines media, where self-mortification penitents are generally portrayed as lacking in theological sophistication, whilst their suffering is seen as symbolic of the more general poor situation of the Philippines nation.
1. The Philippines as the New Face of Christendom 2. The Excruciating Ecstasy of Jackson Cunanan: Magdarame as religious sociality in Pampanga 3. Hesukristo, Superstar: Performing Pain Sincerely 4. Power and the Passion: Loob and Divine Indebtedness 5. Disciplina: Bodily Techniques of the Crucified Subject 6. Mainstream Perceptions of Magdarame Penitents from the 1960s 7. Divine Pain in Southeast Asia 8. The Bright Side of Pain: Self-mortification Beyond Function and Meaning
Julius Bautista is a Lecturer in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore